Art: CuteTanuki (Florian & Sage), mrevanmx (Aleksandra), @microwavemmm (Aldair), Lyr_ae (Heinrich), @WaterDruppel (Ewan). Regalia’s Next Heartthrob! By Desmonia L. Sellenhire — December 27th, 309 While our first nominations were intended to establish who's on the hearts and minds of our readers, there are a few already pulling ahead of the pack! The wishy-washy fashion icon Duke Florian du Poncaire, Baron Aldair Tempetyr of the Wards of Fae Order, Grand Duke Heinrich von Schwarzkrau with his stern demeanor and quick tongue, Outspoken Aleksandra Dragic, Crafty Sage Marais, and the free-spirited Ewan Howlester. We had a spectacular number of entries, so many in fact that we at Regal Suggestion are breaking up the absolutely incredible Heartthrob title into four! Yes, that’s right, four chances to dominate the hearts and minds of the Regalian people! But first, the inevitable. Who will come away as the Heartthrob of Spring? Will it be the Grand Duke or his Howlester competition? Will it be a fight between Knightly Orders? Will a commoner finally usurp a Noble and become the hottest of them all? In order to answer this most important question Regal Suggestion proposes the most fair of competitions take place at the Golden Willow. For three nights the contestants will battle in twos for the attention of an adoring crowd. Losers will lose. Winners will advance to a final round and claim their prize or lose to try again. We’re looking at YOU future contestants, and we look forward to hearing from Regalia. If you have something to say about our delightful candidates you should say it now. Do you know their dirty secrets? Were you around for embarrassing childhood moments that you’re just itching to share? I, Desmonia L. Sellenhire, will be dropping into the Holy City to host and hear everything from our faithful subscribers. A Sanktism of Harmony By Juliana Lowry — December 27th, 309 Erwin and Winifred Braunschweiger had their union on the 18th of December. Their marriage was a long time coming, but it was met with much head scratching by those in attendance. From the bride laughing in front of the Celate to a handful of strange looks, the air was odd, even if the ceremony went off without a hitch and the joined duo departed with family and friends for celebrations afterwards. Houses Litvinova, Sorenvik, von Schwarzkrau v. House Castley By Baldomar Dreschner — December 18th, 309 December 16th saw the Castley’s 300 year legacy brought to an abrupt end. Grand Duke Heinrich von Schwarzkrau, Jarl-Consort Viggo Sorenvik, and Duchess Aceline Litvinova brought upwards of twenty charges against House Castley, of which several were proven without reasonable doubt. Several key figures gave pleas, from Her High Eminence Madelyn de Azcoissia, Castley Vassal Baron, Duke Markus Delmotte, March Srak Gishkim, Duchess Hera van Hal, Duke-Celate Abelhard Petrou, and Samuel Castley (whose plea was an attempt to assert Theopold’s, and by extension House Castley’s, descendancy from God Empress Ness). The court found House Castley guilty of all charges, with the Panel of Peers voting unanimously with the punishments to be delivered. Every member of House Castley was to be exiled. All House Castley properties, assets, banking accounts and finances were to be sold and given to the Regalian State. Any Castley wishing to remain in Regalia was forced to recant the opinions held by their patriarch and their name, joining another noble family in the process. With the Castley’s citizenship revoked at the trial’s end the court descended into chaos, with groups ganging up to attack and steal the belongings of those House Castley members still remaining. In the hubbub Lady Rhea Delmotte found herself the unfortunate target of retaliation before being saved by others in the crowd. Animal Adoptions on the Rise By Petar Hall (@Maeovika) — December 28th, 309 There has been a large influx of people adopting animals, whether young, old, healthy or even disabled at the Caring Claws Veterinary Clinic located on Main Street. Holiday adoptions aren’t entirely unusual, but it’s not often they occur in these numbers. I learned more as I spoke with Marchioness Natharia Mac Conall, animated as ever as she led me on a tour through the facility. “Animals are not just for Wintertide.” She said, stopping to exchange a quick word of encouragement with one of her staff. “They’re for life.” Carollers and Gift-Givers Bring Cheer to Regalia By Edmund Cadigan (@seoulmate) — December 31st, 309 If you were flagged down in the street and given a gift this Wintertide you weren’t the only one. A small group took it upon themselves to spread holiday cheer and give to those needing a pick-me-up something to smile about. No one was left out, and the group made headway all throughout the city during their evening of dedicated merriment. On December 23rd, the Arless Genevieve Howlester gathered a few nobles together including Duchess Amelina Peirgarten, Grand Duke du Poncaire, members of the Howlester family, and other members of the Peerage to go around the city and pass out gifts. One particular moment that stood out to the Duchess Peirgarten was when they entered into the Rosencrae Apothecary, they were met with warm welcomes and the two behind the counter even joined in on the singing and the two were appreciative of their gifts! Sangria, Its Controversy and the Path Forward By His High Grace Heinrich von Schwarzkrau — December 20th, 309 … The Wards of Fae convinced a crowd that the Blessed Blade of the Glory-Seeker, Sangria, as wielded by God-Emperor Allest, should be kept out of mortal hands and in the Fae Sepulchre at a recent debate. Although the audience, composed of nobles, knights and commoners alike, found the Wards of Fae’s arguments convincing, chief advocate for the Fae Wards’ cause, the Duke Tyrvald Sorenvik, said he suspected most of the audience was sympathetic to the Wards… [Read More] A Public Condemnation of The Tyrannical By His Grace Abelhard Petrou — December 20th, 309 It may have been known already, but there are several morally bankrupt members of the Peerage within the Empire who have betrayed both the common men and women of this empire, but have thrown their own personal character under the carriage in the name of maintaining their iron grip over those they rule over, all for the pursuit of either power fantasies or coin. The best part of it all, is that they did it entirely in public, and have no sort of rebuke to whether or not they did it in the first place… [Read More] An Open Concern for Siwat Road By Ouati Damin Kouyaté — December 27th, 309 Over the past many months, at least since before this accursed occupation, our district has remained poor, starving, and neglected. Our streets are smothered with ice and snow, the greenery is withered and unkept. As things currently are, the heart and soul of our neighborhood are as dead as lifeless as our streets. Even as one of the less sociable wanderers of Aloria, I have found myself starved of a sense of community with those I share a common past with and would like to know better… [Read More] Petal Court Couple Kicks It Off By Juliana Lowry (@SevenBirds) — December 24th, 309 As of last week's Wintertide Feast at their home, Tullion Kearney and Aeda'lyn Kee'lyth are officially engaged, Tulls presenting Aeda with a sunflower ring in the presence of family and friends. They had plans to get married a while back, but then the Occupation happened. I don't think they have a date set yet—it will probably depend on when the baby Bean is born—but Petal Court is looking forward to a late Winter or early Spring wedding now! Claw Court Opens Up By Petar Hall — December 29th, 309 A slew of new businesses have cropped up in the district and life has slowly returned in a post Vampire Insurrection world. The gates between Saint Road have been open more often than not, and the side path through Promenade Park now sees regular foot traffic and heads popping in to check out the wonderful smells and small businesses. Good Kharma Bakery & Cafe Owned by Amon Kra’zzla, Good Kharma Bakery & Cafe specializes in all things baked goods. It serves coffee, specialty teas, and exotic pastries. Its menu is constantly evolving with foodie-favorite creations and tasty treats anyone can enjoy. Only in its first year, Good Kharma has made quite the name for itself, and is off to a good start as a cosy place to grab a bite in a cold, wintery city. Songflower Spa Owned by Elena Wilson, Songflower Spa offers top-notch local treatments using organic products. Now hiring and looking for more new staff. Need a gift for the holidays and birthdays? Get a gift certificate from the helpful clerk behind the counter. Not sure what they offer? Everything spa and relaxation in a convenient location at delightful prices. Moonlit Kiln Owned by a Feka Asha named Ro Mido, Moonlit Kiln is a glass smithery and pottery with Dexai origins. Mido seeks to capture life with his creations and is open for commissions. Two-Claw Hunt Shop Expands By Baldomar Dreschner (@Annie_Short) — December 31st, 309 The Two-Claw Hunt Shop lives where the Steak Estate died after passing from Kreiburg-Castley hands to Ben Jones, who has been suspiciously absent in recent weeks. Planned expansions for the Two-Claw will turn it into a grocery market with meats, fruits, vegetables, and much more produce as well as many items imported from the Allar regions to bring the culture to Regalia. No more sniffing around the fruit stands out by the Arch-Temple, oh no. Now you can get your goods indoors without having to trek halfway across the blasted city for it. Religious Site Revitalization By Petar Hall — December 20th, 309 At the behest of His Imperial Holiness the Regalian State is looking into the associated costs to reconstruct the Holy City’s damaged temples. The Salvation Temple of God Empress Ness has been in its destroyed state for no less than three months, and the Dragon Temple even longer. Armor Permits Overhauled By Petar Hall — December 31st, 309 Mercenaries and lawful citizens beware, there’s been a change to armor permits yet again. Old registration is now invalid, and anyone who needs or wants a valid permit to wear armor in full should approach the Armament Officer, Erwin Braunschweiger. Do not inundate the Violet Order or other government apparatuses with permit requests, and be sure to check the right legal codes and determine whether you need a permit at all. Civics Ministry November Report By Her Eminence Sivrid Sorenvik — December 2nd, 309 … As the seasons change in our now glistening, snow-drifted city, so too have we seen change in various forms throughout the institutions of our Government. With the addition of the Upper and Lower House assemblies, the position of the Officer of the Commoners has shifted. As the financial system changes, so too do the scale and plan of our Initiatives. But it is my distinct honor to note that these changes have been, resoundingly, for the better… [Read More] Lifeguard Officer December Report By His High Grace Howland von Schwarzkrau — December 6th, 309 Good news comes in the form of more and more noble houses employing house guards to ensure their protection in the capitol. The office of the Lifeguard thanks all those houses that have registered their guards and have complied fully with house guard policy and codes… [Read More] Arcane Ministry Releases Registry of Hexbreakers By Their Eminence Dr. Ashvarya Sylfina — December 11th, 309 The reduction of harm and encouragement of safety is among the top priorities of the Occult Ministry. The Arcane is as unpredictable as it is useful, and as such those who are able to mitigate its negative effects are greatly sought after… [Read More] 13th Decree of the de Azcoissia Chancellery By Her High Eminence Madelyn de Azcoissia — December 11th, 309 The following decree encompasses a small number of administrative and Law changes… [Read More] Commerce Ministry December Report By Her Eminence Tuija Nordhjem — December 20th, 309 I. Preamble Wintertide is here and businesses are ready for eager shoppers! The Ministry has been hard at work to help ease establishments into one of the busiest but most wonderful times of the year. II. Help Wanted All of these businesses are in need of reliable workers who can open multiple times a week! All of these places are highly recommended to anyone interested in a good-paying job and great work experience... [Read More] First Upper House Assembly By Petar Hall — November 23rd, 309 The first Upper House assembly occurred on November 22nd, 309. The first item on the docket, proposed by Duke Markus Delmotte, was a measure requiring the overtly and grotesquely mutated to conceal these mutations while present on Imperial Isle. It was argued against for being inspecific, allowing an excuse to conceal one’s face, not differentiating between the many types of mutations both willing and religiously motivated, and the Occult Minister not being consulted. The second item on the docket, proposed by Duke Abelhard Petrou, was to permanently ban those who have converted away from Unionism from holding any government Office. This did not come to pass, as impassioned arguments from the assembled factions mentioned that too often people were compelled to be Unionist by force and unable to express their actual religious beliefs. The 9th Prince Dominic Kade had these sobering words and resolution to the problem: The Crown considers that the law is currently inadequate at redressing the matter of faltering loyalty of those who convert away from Unionism, but there are more concerning matters to cover first. It is the Emperor's opinion that while it is the right of those in families to dictate their patriarchal or matriarchal or other family institution of spirituality, the Emperor finds too often that Unionism, or indeed any faith like Old Gods, is forced on the child, instead of letting the child come to the natural conclusions of spiritual rightness by providence found in the world all around us. The Everwatcher acts, and is proven to act in the miracles brought about for Unionism. But all too often is a child forced to believe the words of the Everwatcher at the threat of a beating. A belief fostered by punishment as opposed to righteous being is one born out of deceit and willful betrayal. It is not a matter of whether the individual will convert at that point, the betrayal is already made. And before anyone in this room deigns their goodly approach of child indoctrination to be beyond the reproach of harsh enforcement, ask yourself very dearly if your children ever even have a choice in the matter. It does not matter whether you punish them with a beating or with candy or bed side stories, forced religion is all but the same. As such, we arrive at the complicated solution that many in this room claim to be Unionist, but we all know very dearly most of you just pay lip service to the Everwatcher and say the holy words to please the matter of Optics. As a matter of fact, if anyone were to convert, we wouldn't even know because many may hide their religious articles in their drawers. Or hope that public declarations of conversion are quickly forgotten, like mister Rodsvar. The Crown will thus institute this first: A policy of public declaration of faith of any one individual to the bureaucracy. Any person who is of adult age may proceed to the Bureaucracy and declare their faith on the citizenship record. Even if a child is raised in a Unionist household, no presumption of faith shall be made until this person has legally and with their own consent made a declaration before the Bureaucracy. This shall also go in effect for all adults of all ages in the coming two weeks, and those who fail to present will be presumed Unionist if Noble, and Agnostic if Common. Then, when faith is successfully registered, we shall approve the proposal to ban those who convert away from Unionism from holding government office, but only applicable for those who were registered as Unionist and convert after registration. For purposes of adequate registry, we shall permit registrations of Unionists by Denomination, Wavering Unionist, Atheist, Agnostic, or indeed any other religion that is legal in the Empire and this data will be made publicly available. There were no further items on the agenda, so the topic turned to the war in Ellador. The war in Ellador is progressing in favor of the Kade-Url coalition and the Isldar rebels with ground is being made on what are generally referred to as the Isldar Fanatics. The Assembly was instructed to debate on the mode of war, and after several repetitive comments were cut-off. Single faction representatives then spoke to the Prince. Second Lower House Assembly By Petar Hall — December 12th, 309 The second Lower House assembly was on December 11th, 309 and began with House Castley taking the stand and attempting to initiate a vote of no confidence against Lord Chancellor Madelyn de Azcoissia. His Imperial Holiness was quick to put an end to the farce, ordering Imperial Guards to escort members of House Castley off the stand and to Krakenburg, at which point the assembly returned to a state of relative normalcy. The procedure for ousting the Chancellor was then clarified by His Imperial Holiness, and indicates a departure from the typical majority rules of older assemblies: A vote of No Confidence can never be called during a Lower House Assembly, because Commoners have not the right to request the dismissal of the Chancellor, on grounds of their own blissful ignorance to the acts of Government. It is within the right of the nobles to request it, however, in line with my forefathers I dissent against Cedromar's belief that a Chancellor should be dismissed with a simple vote and numerical majority that has become fetishized in recent years. Indeed, to have a vote be valid for anything else than to measure the temperature of the room reeks of Jacobinism and the worst excesses of reviled democracy that continues to plague the unstable republics of our world. When a vote of no confidence is called by the Upper House, the Crown shall hear the votes, and then consult with the Chancellor whether there is grounds to believe that a continuation of government is tenable. If the Chancellor wishes to resign, they will. If the Emperor deems the Chancellor can no longer control the government due to the temperature in the room, the Emperor shall ask the Chancellor to step down. In any and all situations, the Chancellor may only ever finalize the withdrawal of authority with the approval of the Crown because only the Crown may decide whether the Chancellor is still acting in its best and competent interest. Let it hereby be known that Chancellor de Azcoissia is not clean of criticism, but has showcased competent rule in a desert of apathetic and self serving Chancellors. We see no reason currently to believe she warrants an expulsion. But we also believe that the Chancellor is well aware that she will not be Chancellor forever, and that duty calls her to eventual resignation when she feels she has done her part for the state, and delivered a standard to live up to for others in the future. When the stand reopened Abigail Tucker proposed a time limit on petitions, which was approved to pass to the Upper House. Duchess Guentyr proposed that if all Upper House factions are in agreement they may request a person or persons be banned from the Lower Assembly. The nays had this one. Duke Abelhard Petrou proposed that it should be illegal for any individual with the exception of Villiers-Eclaire, those with Celatial approval, and the Violets on Curing missions to enter the temple of Ness' courtyard with weapon or armor. The ayes had it. The Officer of Commoners, Szaralaszotl proposed that slaves within Imperial borders be considered a separate legal class under Regalian Legal Code, and that this code supersede and replace the current code, which classifies those in involuntary servitude as the simple property of the owner. The ayes had it. It was at this point a disturbance made itself known in the stands. A small group of peerage members were contending with a man speaking in vulgarities and talking about urine for upwards of ten minutes. He was then forced to leave, and the assembly once again resumed normal operation. Grand Duke Heinrich von Schwarzkrau proposed that it formally be made illegal to intentionally deceive the crown, officials acting in their capacity in the government or officials acting in their capacity in the Violet Order through falsification, verbal deception or forgery. The ayes had this one. Second Upper House Assembly By Petar Hall — December 19th, 309 The second Upper House assembly occurred on December 18th, 309. The first item on the docket was Abigail Tucker’s proposed cap on Lower House proposals. It was argued that the Crown and the Regald were capable of putting a stop to run-on petitions. The Regald was then permitted to hurry along speakers by the Crown. The second item was Duke Abelhard Petrou’s proposal regarding the Salvation Temple of God Empress Ness and its legal defenders. Rather than having his petition granted, the State was bidden to set aside funds for the Temple’s reconstruction so it might be adequately defended. The third item was the Officer of Commoners Szaralaszotl’s proposal, requesting that slaves be made their own legal class and their rights decided by whomever was appointed to deal with it. It was argued against for being a stepping stone to abolition, and argued for because of the indignities of slavery, but was ultimately denied by the crown. The fourth item was Grand Duke Heinrich von Schwarzkrau’s law to criminalize deception and fraud. His Imperial Holiness found argumentation lacking, and stated that the law was “not feasibly applicable in day-to-day guard business” in addition to the Violet Order being capable of determining when criminals and suspects are being misleading. The final consideration of the assembly from His Imperial Holiness is as follows: When the Assembly proposed, accepted, and the Crown verified, the proposal of the individual's right to choose religion, it created a legal precedent that is not yet fully reconciled with the concept of racial identity. Indeed, we live in an Empire where many frequently change race, for very personal reasons, for righteous reasons, for malicious reasons, and for selfish reasons, but reasons nonetheless. The Law does not regard the religious status of the individual as a definition of the soul. In fact, the definition of the soul does not matter in the grand scheme of legislation as it deals with the material and face-value facts. Not a religious hypothesis. And yet. Legal race status and subsequent rights in the Empire are defined by Soul, not by face-value facts. What rank of citizen an individual is, is entirely based on religious hypothesis. And not even the hypothesis of different religions, but the Unionist one. Despite being a figurehead of the Unionist faith and the Vessel of the Everwatcher, the Crown has always endeavored, not to validate, but also not to invalidate the beliefs of other religions. After all, a kind hand and mind may only endeavor to encourage the soul to embrace Union and meet with the Everwatcher, but cannot reasonably force a non-believer to believe in His kind words at the tip of a sword. It would not be a true belief based on providence, but fear. As such, the Crown will define a new citizenship rank called the Imperial National, which will have similar rights and positions to First Rank Citizens under Ailor soul distinction, but still be of separate legal entity nature. To arbitrate the selection of this Imperial National status, applications shall be forwarded to the National Council, which will be made up initially of the Princes of the Empire, but by extension, applicants from Nobility who are approved in the eyes of the Imperial minded College of Princes, and the ideology set forward by the Imperial mindset of the person to be tested, and the tester. Extracted details should become clearer as Prince Constantine, who is heading the office for Imperial Nationality makes his announcements, but for the time being, the Crown thus proclaims that it shall create a different way than a purely religious one to receive present Imperial recognition as an Imperial National, even if the soul remains non-Ailor and unable to attain approval from the Everwatcher as deserving to stand on the steps with Him, to watch over the Great Way. Regarding the Civics Ministry’s Letter The Editor has opted to respond in person. A summary of the response will be provided to the general public in the next issue. The Sunday Scratch is Accepting Letters Do you feel something is missing from The Sunday Scratch, some thought unexplored or an opinion got wrong? Have we got our gears stuck and failed to fact-check information? Send a letter to the editor! Support a stance, oppose a stance, respond to other letters to the editor, comment on current issues, tell us how you feel about news stories, correct mistakes—the possibilities are endless! Subscriptions and letters should be penned to the Leclercq Building, Tailor's District. Offices are located on the third floor. In person visitors will be respectfully declined and encouraged to request at-home delivery or procure a paper from an open vendor. Current vendors are: The Nook, located in Rose Court. Poison Pen Press, located in the New Crookback Emporium. Main Street Stalls, located in front of the Imperial Temple of the All-Beacon of Unionism. Can’t wait to get your next paper? Petition local businesses to install news-stands today! Extraplanar Horoscopes by Meriden the Evocator ARIES (March 21 - April 19) She is old and willful. She knows her worth. She's cunning and crafty. Don't fall for the desire in her eyes. She’ll only turn her back on you when she’s bored. TAURUS (April 20 - May 20) It will pay to help someone, even if you have to fall on your sword. We all need help sometimes. Be kind. GEMINI (May 21- June 20) Now’s a great time to be rich, because there’s no way you’re going to be poor anytime soon. Why ruin the fun? CANCER (June 21 - July 22) Someone’s going to take a shot at you for being naive. Your downfall will be along soon enough, so stop pretending you can handle this by yourself. Don’t let people get in your way. LEO (July 23 - Aug. 22) Everyone around you seems to be coming to a halt but you don’t have to. There is no on/off button on life. Take off. Explore. Grow. Expose yourself. Be a freak. VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) There is an inexplicable yet powerful love in the world, but you’re not ready for it. Don’t force things to work. Just be happy with what you have. LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22) You may not be aware, but there are many people who have seen you before. They have seen you in the mirror, or when you weren’t looking. They have seen you, whether you wanted them to or not. Don’t let it happen again. Don’t let them get to you. Don’t feel bad. SCORPIO (Oct. 23- Nov. 21) You’re off to a great start this month. You’re probably doing something great in your current job. You have several job options you’re choosing from. Let the people decide, not the bureaucracy, not the law. You don’t need to be part of the system to succeed. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) The end of a job is almost always a good thing, but you’re also aware that you’re about to enter into a recession. Cut all the fat and cut the crap, and you’ll be just fine. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19) It’s the end of the world and you’re alone in it. It’s the end of the world, but you can still find happiness. You are special and special things happen to special people. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20- Feb. 18) On the surface, we appear to have all the time in the world. But I’m afraid you’re lacking in confidence and in a couple of days you’re going to realize it. PISCES (Feb. 19 - March 20) Let it go, even though you really, really, really don’t want to. An Occultist’s Advice by Myridden the Diviner and Meriden the Evocator (@Aphellon) “DEAR MYRIDDEN, I have fallen for two men in my life. They are both sweet in their own ways, but I must choose. Which one do I know is a keeper worth pursuing?” - Burdened with Love MYRIDDEN SAYS: Kill the men. Whichever stays dead is the one worth keeping. MERIDEN SAYS: Have you fallen for these men or the idea of these men? Have you fallen for the idea of being held and cared for, or do you see yourself with a future beyond being a counterpart to a person who was whole before you ever arrived? Not one human is a keeper worth pursuing, nor are they worth the agony of indecision as you choose between two options, never to see the outcome of the one you discarded. To choose is to be a creature that cannot be satisfied; and every choice you make is a lie. Some people will say that the love of another person can make you whole, and the difference between your former self and your new self will prove that it can, but that only occurs if it is a choice made with honesty. Decide if you want them, or if you are enamored with the idea of being wanted. “DEAR MYRIDDEN, how do you entertain a stoic man (or woman)?” - Cracking One’s Shell MYRIDDEN SAYS: Sabotage their career. Cause them endless turmoil. Spread falsities. Break into their house and steal their most precious belongings. This simple trick never fails to entertain even the most unshakable stoics. MERIDEN SAYS: That’s easy. Form one idea, create five separate ideas that intertwine with one another, and your mind will be on fire! It’s all about asking the right questions. Forming theories is one thing, testing them is another. Have you ever noticed that people will come up with a theory but never test it? The brain works better when people put some action behind their words. “DEAR MYRIDDEN, I am having struggles relating to the youth of today. My sense of humour is not hitting the same with them like it used to. How do I come off as relatable and hilarious at a potentially semi-old age? (I am forty-seven). Thank you for the aid stranger.” - LL MYRIDDEN SAYS: Try setting fire to a few local apothecaries. Arson resonates with youths of all generations. MERIDEN SAYS: When I was a teenager, I was also a total idiot. It’s okay to feel and not act like a semi-adult, but you must treat yourself like one. Use your special brand of wit, sarcasm and wisdom on the youth. Turn a room of kids from a losing proposition into a winning proposition. Ask and then listen carefully to the answer. Ask and then listen to what they’re actually trying to say. Ask and then get them to listen to you, which will take some effort. You will not always get it right. But listen to yourself and your instincts, too. As the old Sihai proverb states, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, what’s the point in laughing at anyone else?” “DEAR MYRIDDEN, what the hell is life, and what do I do with it? To come to work and do the same thing day in and day out with everyone happy and smiling and we don’t complain and we don’t give a fuck, that’s a blessing. I’m sure. What the hell is the end of life? I don’t know, I’m not the Everwatcher.” - Lunchbreak MYRIDDEN SAYS: Life is the never-ending opportunity to choose to do good or evil. If being good brings you discontent, try being evil. And if being evil gives you a headache, try being good. If you can’t bear to live your own life, dedicate it to someone else. If no one is worth your life, immortalize yourself and live forever. MERIDEN SAYS: Like the beggar, the wise are not always glad to receive riches. And yet, they will ask for more. For those of you who think that becoming a wise old man in life requires you to give up all that you once were in order to transform into a fully-fledged sage—the first step in your self-destruction, kindly shut your mouth. Self-deification requires sacrifice, and sacrifice requires suffering. Bodies are not invulnerable; and neither are our souls. And for all the suffering in life, the wise recognize there is an equal amount of good in the suffering as well. You’ll make it through the hard times as a well-rounded individual and stronger person—who now has a better perspective on what constitutes a life worth living. But if that’s not enough, then you just have to face the truth. Your life is no longer yours; it belongs to everyone else, and everyone else is free to go fuck themselves. “DEAR MYRIDDEN, is the past dead or can it live? ... A tree of knowledge, its limbs loaded with fruit, and yet, it is dead?” - Curiosity Kills MYRIDDEN SAYS: Some pasts are dead, some pasts are alive. Most scholars agree that to kill your past is to doom your future, but to nurture your past is to discard your future. Indulge and you may find wisdom. Obsess and you will find only regret. MERIDEN SAYS: Yes. It can live. Just remember that it is dead, it will always be dead. The past has made you who you are and its lessons still have value—sometimes it’s the weight of them that weighs you down. No longer run from your past. Let it guide you; let it remind you of all the things you’ve done, and all the things you have yet to do. The past is your teacher, as are all things, and what you learn from it is up to you. But the past is never going to be yours to do with as you please. “DEAR MYRIDDEN, why do we do the things we do? What purpose do they serve, other than to achieve a measure of happiness? Are they some weird masochistic ritual or is it just a coincidence?” - Lost in Translation MYRIDDEN SAYS: Some would argue that happiness, and the pursuit of such, is the true meaning of life. Others, like yourself, are dissatisfied by this philosophy. The truth? There is no true purpose to life. People do the things they do because they’ve made a purpose of their own, and they are pursuing their own ends. The best you can do is try to do the same. Or seek divinity. MERIDEN SAYS: Can’t say I’ve ever bothered to answer that question. Humans are naturally curious. It’s a desire that informs everything we do. But some questions are pointless, and sometimes, all you really need to know is that there is a reason for all of this, and we’ll all learn from it eventually. Live and let live, and never give up. Do not be an asshole, if you can help it. You have no idea how much you have going for you, and sometimes, a million years is exactly as long as you have left to live. “DEAR MYRIDDEN, what is love? Is it an emotion or a state of mind? What is it? Is it rational, or is it illogical? Is it something you understand or something you don’t? Is it something that can be explained, or is it something that can’t? Do you need it or can you do without it? ” - Haddaway MYRIDDEN SAYS: It’s a disease. It is a chemical affliction of the brain. And it is deadly. It may be the most violent pleasure in all of life. MERIDEN SAYS: If love isn’t an emotion or a state of mind, then what is it? It’s an interesting question and all, but when you really think about it, it’s impossible to define. If it is irrational or illogical, then it’s not love. But if it is rational or can be explained, then it is love. It can be described, but is it really something that needs to be described? All you really need to know is that it’s something we crave, desire, yearn for and feel when it’s present. Sometimes, it can feel like the exact opposite of the thing that is supposed to provide it. But we have a tendency to confuse that too, with the fact that we just don’t know what it is, and don’t know how to find it. The best you can do is just live. And if it comes, you’ll know it. And if it doesn’t, you still know that you know that you know. “DEAR MYRIDDEN, in a city the size of a shoe box, is it possible to fall in love with only a handful of people?” - In Want of a Few MYRIDDEN SAYS: Yes. Manifest your desires and place a mound of citrine beneath your pillow to promote success. MERIDEN SAYS: I don’t know. Maybe. In my opinion, only if you don’t love yourself. But even then, there is always someone else out there. That will never change. Just accept it. You don’t need everyone, and if you do, it’s time to reevaluate your priorities. There is no such thing as true love, only love. It’s probably the only kind of love there is, or ever can be. Everything else is contingent on it. I’m not sure if it is something you can define or if it is something you must define, but if you’re going to feel something for another human being, you better be damn sure that it’s true, or else you’re in for a serious disappointment. “DEAR MYRIDDEN, I have become physically and spiritually ill because of the sudden loss of someone who I didn’t expect to lose. Am I overreacting? Or did I cause the death of a good friend?” - Beyond Understanding MYRIDDEN SAYS: Right your wrongs. Even death can be undone. If it was wrong, right it. Or realize it was not wrong at all. MERIDEN SAYS: Yes, and no. Yes, you were under no obligation to form an attachment. But no, your friend would not have wanted you to endure such anguish on her behalf, and her demise should not linger in your mind any longer. It was not your fault, and you cannot shed an ounce of grief for something you were never responsible for. Time heals all wounds. Should you wish for advice of your own, seek out Meriden, apprentice to the fine Myridden the Diviner, or write to The Sunday Scratch offices. Tenth Prince Hosts Occult Meeting By Meriden the Evocator — November 27th, 309 In the early morning on November 25th the Tenth Prince called. Dozens of faithful Regalians filtered into Greygate’s Great Hall and waited anxiously for enlightenment, a mission, whatever it was that was about to come out of Prince Cedromar’s mouth, and it was a mission most important. His request was simple and chock full of warnings about potential harm, loss of life and limb, and that any with doubts need not undertake this mission. The Arken of Pride, one of many that had appeared during the Vampire Insurrection, was the target of the Prince’s ire. Pride had not only killed and killed again, but its machinations continued even without an obvious physical presence in the city, and its tendrils slipped into the minds of Regalians unaware. All but two in the room were bidden to take their doubts and leave, and a handful departed knowing the nature of this challenge and the risks ahead. Some forty odd brave souls stepped up to the table and recited their name, their skills, and waited. For all that this mission entailed, not a peep escaped the people left in that room. There were no fanciful light shows or sounds of booming battle, but a pervasive unease those leaving carried with them long after those who hadn’t signed up left. Whatever happened, it’s for those forty alone to know. The Foundation By Meriden the Evocator — December 26th, 309 A blond man calling himself The Magician set up shop in New Crookback on December 20th. His presence was met with immediate hostility from some of the district’s residents, and a complete lack of concern by others. It was at this point the man, who we presume to have been a mage of some calibre, started an incredibly vague rant about power and responsibility that resulted in the complete removal of magical potential in the area. What could only be a villain monologue revealed The Foundation’s plan—removing sorcerer’s and mage’s access to their magical potential. With their warning delivered, magic rushed back in and the Magician and his spritely companions vanished, leaving intrepid citizens to their devices. A few immediately took up research, poking and prodding at the strange ball of light localized in the Crookback Assembly Hall’s tower. Some sought out the Hallowhunt, an organization that supposedly ran counter to The Foundation’s aims. On December 24th—four days of incessant work, investigation, and fighting later—the denizens of New Crookback triumphed and magic was saved. For now. Active Guard Warrants By Petar Hall — December 31st, 309 Aylin Date Issued: December 7th, 309 Description: Unavailable. Avarelle Date Issued: December 30th, 309 Description: Unavailable. Jonathan Mosely Date Issued: November 11th, 309 Description: Unavailable. Hooligans Target Main Street Businesses By Petar Hall — December 26th, 309 On December 20th disaster struck local businesses yet again. As though going down a list someone broke every window on Main Street for reasons that have yet to be identified. All that happened thus far are hasty patches to keep out the winter weather and attempts to dispel the sour mood that’s overtaken one of Regalia’s busiest commercial areas. Shenaniganery at the Burning Bridges Medical Clinic By Petar Hall — December 19th, 309 Talk about a hole in the wall! The Burning Bridges Medical Clinic is incredibly lively on the worst of days, but an exceptional altercation has left a hole in the clinic’s newest expansion. A Call To Sponsor It is in my good graces to present myself, Eudel, a metalworker born in the frigid Elladorian Hold of Nótt. I seek to grow my name as a forger and inventor through a sponsorship… [Read More] Cillian Gallagher Alive and Well We caught this error before it entered print, but twice now the Sunday Scratch has closed the casket on peerage members who are actually very much alive and not dead. Current Subscriptions @canaaa @FeralGayWalnut @TonyBones @NebulaePrimo @bwmwags3 @BiBiBirdie @JResurrected @AtticCat @Farly108 @BluKnight10 @Lutowski @Iyyiushi @MrNoot1 @MippyMoo @SaltyLikeTheSea @Nirnro0t @HereticTakao @Greys_n @yamiya @Ampers07 @AshenRoman @ZiggyStarDusted @festiveCorvid @SleepyIsVerySlep @Sinhai @Wilvahelm @LilBeast_24 @LeafMC @dimetros @mcmann @essentialess @Arhbi @LumosJared @MantaRey @Nathan @Volaie @LightSideMoon Complimentary Issues (Mentions) @soggytoenails @Ghirko @Hemingway7 @kirishark @Lionfiles @WildSages @AshenRoman @Battlebrawn @Northern_Ireland @sonofthestars @Audianna @SupremeCripple Regarding the Paper’s Direction: After several long conversations with a few people (you know who you are), I’ve decided to shift from getting the paper shut down back to reporting news blandly and/or being supportive of others’ roleplay. I wasn’t happy with the paper because it went against my M.O., and being negative and inflammatory for the purpose of turning the paper into a trash fire adversely affected my mental health and my relationship with writing and the people I was reporting on. With context out of the way, tell me if something I’ve written negatively impacts you and your roleplay. You won’t be bothering me, and I’m willing to remove things, retract statements, or whatever else so long as you work with me. Is it not, and has not been my intention to make anyone’s experience on the server worse. Take this opportunity to provide feedback on anything that upsets you now and in the future. Regarding the Scratch’s Writers: I thought it would be more fun to have a varied roster to write in the voice of, but eventually gave up the original cast of characters because I didn’t think anyone noticed. I’ll be returning to them, but in the meantime be aware that there are no pseudonymous Scratch writers (with the exclusion of one-off jokes* or player submissions) and that everything passes by the Editor in-character. *Some things exist in the paper for my amusement (otherwise it’s hard to write), like the bylines containing anagrams of character names and the Sunday Scratch never posting on a Sunday. About This Issue Royalty-free, attribution-free, lots-of-different-kinds-of-free imagery used. Contributors have credits in the byline, but as usual writing is attributed to a character. Art featured in the Regal Suggestion covers are by CuteTanuki, mrevanmx, Lyr_ae, @microwavemmm, and @WaterDruppel. Permission was given to post the Erwin / Winifred wedding story. 1 hour reworking the Sunday Scratch cast. Want to know more? Check this thread. 1-2 hours editing Regal Suggestion covers. 1-2 hours working on the paper’s ‘skeleton’ so I could quickly see what should go where. 3-4 hours researching newspapers using the Chronicling America project. ?? hours writing. Other Reading: The Raven's Quill | Edition 1 Ekster Cuisine Newsletter | December 309 Ekster Cuisine Newsletter | January 310 TL;DR If you feel bad, say something. Give constructive feedback.